About the name Owen

About the baby name Owen, at Click Baby Names.com

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If you like the name Owen, find out the meaning, origin, nicknames, variations and other information to help you decide if you want to use this first name for your baby.
Name meaning, variations & etymology

Outstanding Owen: The timeless charm of a classic name

Owen, primarily known as a male name, has roots in Welsh culture, originally appearing as a surname during the Renaissance.

Over time, it evolved into a popular first name in Ireland. Its meaning, “young warrior”, “well-born man”, or “nobility”, adds a layer of profound significance​​.

Pronunciation of the name

Owen’s pronunciation varies with its origin.

Owen is typically pronounced as ‘OH-uhn’ in the United States.

The Welsh version, Owain, is pronounced “OH-ween”. 

The the Irish ‘Eoghan’ sounds like ‘O-wen’.

Popularity of the name

In the United States, Owen has enjoyed consistent popularity. Since 2002, it’s been a fixture in the top 100 boys’ names. In recent years, it has frequently appeared near the top 20​​.

Owen was moderately popular in the early 1900s, ranking around #200 to #250 in the baby names list.

In the 1960s and 1970s the name saw a dip in popularity, dropping to around #400 to #500.

A resurgence began in the 1980s and 1990s, with Owen climbing back into the top 100.

Since 2002, Owen has been a mainstay in the top 100 names in the United States. It peaked at #23 in 2020, showing a consistent preference among parents for this name​​.

Celebrities with the name

Owen’s popularity is mirrored in its adoption by various celebrities and fictional characters, making it a familiar and admired choice.


  • Owen Wilson: A versatile actor known for roles in “Midnight in Paris“, “The Royal Tenenbaums“, and “Wedding Crashers“.
  • Owen Pallett: A Canadian composer and musician, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for “Her“.
  • Owen Chamberlain: An American physicist and Nobel laureate for the discovery of the antiproton.
  • Owen Hart: A celebrated professional wrestler in WWF.
  • Owen Garriott: A NASA astronaut with missions on Skylab and the Space Shuttle.
  • Owen Daniels: A former American football tight end and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
  • Owen Nolan: An Irish-Canadian former professional ice hockey player and a five-time NHL All-Star​​​​​​.

Fictional Characters:

  • Owen Grady from “Jurassic World
  • Owen Hunt in “Grey’s Anatomy
  • Owen Lars, Luke Skywalker’s step-uncle in the “Star Wars” franchise
  • Owen Meany from John Irving’s novel “A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • Owen Mercer, a character in the DC Comics world
  • Owen Paris in the “Star Trek” series
  • Owen Underhill in Stephen King’s “Dreamcatcher

Nicknames and variations

Owen’s adaptability is evident in its numerous nicknames and variations.

Some nicknames include:

  • Ennie
  • O
  • Oh
  • Owie
  • Wen

This name has several variations:

  • Owain
  • Eoghan
  • Eóghain
  • Éogan

Owen also has feminine versions, like Eowyn and Owena​​.

Origin of the name

The name Owen finds its roots in multiple cultures. It’s primarily an anglicized form of the Welsh personal name ‘Owain’. Historically, ‘Owain’ started as a surname in Wales during the reign of Henry VIII.

Etymologically, Owen is believed to originate from ‘Eugene’, meaning ‘noble-born.’ This is reflected in its Latin derivations like ‘Eugenis’, which transformed into various forms such as ‘Ou[u]ein’ and ‘Eug[u]ein’ in Middle Welsh, appearing as ‘Ewein’, ‘Owein’, and ‘Ywein’. These were often latinized as ‘Eugenius’, maintaining the name’s noble essence.

In Irish culture, Owen is closely linked to the name ‘Eoghan,’ a cognate of the Irish name ‘Eógan.’ Interestingly, another Irish name, ‘Uaithne’ (meaning ‘wood’, ‘work’, ‘pillar’, or ‘harmony’), has also been anglicized as Owney.

Owen also connects to French traditions, being an anglicized form of ‘Ouen’, from the Germanic names ‘Audwin’ and ‘Aldwin.’ The transformation of the French ‘ou’ to the English ‘ow’ is a common linguistic shift.

Similar names

If you’re fond of Owen but still considering alternatives, these names might strike your fancy:


More history of the name Owen

Owen is one of the many Welsh names that is not usual in England and the United States, and like most Welsh surnames, it is derived from a popular first name (Owain).

The Welsh did not take last names as soon as Englishmen did, and when they did, they usually simply took their own or their father’s first name as a family name.

Owen is of Celtic derivation, and probably means sheep or lamb. However, it may mean young warrior or, on another authority “apt to serve.”

Doubtless the first name Owen gained its popularity in Wales partly because of Owen or Owain, Prince of Powys, a valiant fighter who died in 1195; and partly because of Owen Glendower (Owain Glyn Dwr), last of the Welsh patriots, the defeated chief of a discontented people, who stubbornly held his own in a rugged mountain fastness, who lived and died in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.



baby Name length

4 letters (short but popular name length)

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